Applications open

Commission grants

We are keen to support the commission and acquisition of important new work, and we welcome proposals for exceptional projects with significant public impact.

Funding and deadlines

Our acquisitions programme has two levels of funding available, which you can see more about at the bottom of this page.

Main grants are considered at one of the five Trustee meetings which take place across the year. Please contact us for the upcoming application deadlines.

Small grants are considered on a rolling basis.

Commissioned work often has a singular ability to respond and reveal new aspects to collections or places in direct, timely ways, and commissioning an artist/s to create a new work of art for a museum collection can help to forge closer relationships with artists and audiences.

Applications for commissions are considered as a part of our Acquisitions programme. As such, we would expect any commissions to be of international, national, or regional significance. We recognise, however, that there are distinct opportunities and fundraising challenges in realising a commission, and that the acquisition of a commission can be conceptualised and carried out in many different ways; for example, as a unique permanent artwork that can be accessioned into a public collection, or as a temporary, ephemeral or performance piece that may only have a permanent legacy in the form of archival material. For your application to be successful you will also need to make a strong case in the following three areas:

  • Benefit to the Artist
  • Benefit to the Organisation
  • Benefit to Audiences

Applications towards support for commissions need to demonstrate the impact of the work of art within the context of all three areas above.

Who should apply

Public museums, galleries, historic houses, libraries, and archives based in the UK or Channel Islands.

Given the focus on acquisitions we anticipate most lead applicants to have collections, which may include fine and applied art and design, archaeology and/or social history. If the lead applicant has a collection, our criteria is as follows:

  • Applicants must be open for at least half the week for at least six months of the year
  • Applicants must be fully or provisionally Accredited through the Arts Council Accreditation scheme or other national equivalents

Beyond supporting museums to commission, we encourage partnerships between commissioning agencies and museums, or other institutions who want to commission work that will have a permanent legacy to artists, cultural organisations as well as audiences. You can apply as a single institution, in a partnership, or with a collective. We will ask you to identify a lead applicant if two or more organisations are applying together.

On occasion the lead applicant will not have a collection, in which case these are our criteria:

  • organisations without collections need to be committed to delivering activity that increases public access to the visual arts more generally. These activities must provide public benefit and align with Art Fund’s charitable objectives.
  • operate to standards of best practice and/or have a strong track record in delivering high quality public activity. You could demonstrate this through accreditation schemes (such as those managed by Arts Council England), endorsement by partners, successful past projects, or awards you have received.
  • have a public presence (e.g. a building open to the public) or a public outcome (e.g. a festival or public art programme)

All grant recipients will be asked to sign our full Grant conditions.

Funds available

Our acquisitions programme has two levels of funding available:

Main grants: grant requests of above £7,500 and/or where the total cost of the work is more than £15,000

Small grants: grant requests of £7,500 or less where the total cost of the work is £15,000 or less

There is no minimum amount that can be applied for, and there is no fixed percentage for which you can apply to Art Fund, but we expect you to explore the possibility of applying to all appropriate sources of public funding for which you may be eligible.

Information for applicants

Guidance for applicants

Get in touch

Please review the Guidance for applicants and contact us to discuss potential acquisitions before submitting an application, so we can ensure the object you wish to purchase is eligible and that we have enough time to process your application.

Please contact:

Robert Dingle, Programme manager:

How to apply

For application forms and to submit your application, log in to My Art Fund.

You must be registered as a professional user.

If you already have a My Art Fund account but are not registered as a professional user, you can add your professional details when logged in.

If you require application forms in an alternative format, please contact the Programmes team.

Log in to apply
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